Strata and Time: Probing the Gaps in Our Understanding
The superposition of stratified rocks is an unmistakable manifestation of the history of sedimentary processes through deep time. However, the relationship between the preserved strata of the rock record and the passage of geological time, indisputable in principle, is unknowable in detail; incompleteness is an essential property of the record. That gaps exist at all scales in sedimentary successions is easily demonstrated from consideration of sediment accumulation rates, and expectations of continuity and completeness at any scale are correspondingly inadvisable. Locating and quantifying the gaps in the record is, however, very much less straightforward. Predictive modelling of strata – essential for their practical exploitation – requires such geohistorical understanding, yet over-simplified assumptions about how time is represented in rock can still lead to inadequate or even false conclusions. The contributions to this volume describe a range of practical studies, theoretical investigations, and numerical experiments in which the nature of the strata–time relationship is explored.
Stratigraphic continuity and fragmentary sedimentation: the success of cyclostratigraphy as part of integrated stratigraphy
Published:January 01, 2015
Frederik J. Hilgen, Linda A. Hinnov, Hayfaa Abdul Aziz, Hemmo A. Abels, Sietske Batenburg, Joyce H. C. Bosmans, Bas de Boer, Silja K. Hüsing, Klaudia F. Kuiper, Lucas J. Lourens, Tiffany Rivera, Erik Tuenter, Roderik S. W. Van de Wal, Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw, Christian Zeeden, 2015. "Stratigraphic continuity and fragmentary sedimentation: the success of cyclostratigraphy as part of integrated stratigraphy", Strata and Time: Probing the Gaps in Our Understanding, D. G. Smith, R. J. Bailey, P. M. Burgess, A. J. Fraser
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The Milankovitch theory of climate change is widely accepted, but the registration of the climate changes in the stratigraphic record and their use in building high-resolution astronomically tuned timescales has been disputed due to the complex and fragmentary nature of the stratigraphic record. However, results of time series analysis and consistency with independent magnetobiostratigraphic and/or radio-isotopic age models show that Milankovitch cycles are recorded not only in deep marine and lacustrine successions, but also in ice cores and speleothems, and in eolian and fluvial successions. Integrated stratigraphic studies further provide evidence for continuous sedimentation at Milankovitch time scales (10...